Addition to the Prado

The premise for this proposal is to make the collection and buildings comprehensible to a visitor within the contexts of culture, and time. The understanding of historical works must occur relatively, which requires providing information and making connections. Therefore, there are three critical factors which have to be continuously evaluated by the visitor; Culture, Structure and Information. Time and place are the primary concerns of the visitor ( how long they have and how they get around). Therefore the museum must provide a context for them.
An overlay concept is used to relate the critical factors of comprehension to the visitors time and place. This defines the factors in the following way relative to the observer. Culture is long term and global. Structure is short term and local and information is here and now.Geometry
The notion of comprehension is extended to a geometric expression so the visitor can understand distance both experientially and in memory. Long term global culture can be seen as a grid or network. Short term local structure as circular and statically immediate information as a point.Coordinate Systems
The visitor has to move around in space, or navigate around the paintings. Coordinate systems allow space to be measured relative to a point. The painting collection at the Prado is hung within a Cartesian coordinate system. Therefore long term culture can be evaluated within the this system. A cylindrical coordinate system is adopted to measure local space and allow the edges of the Cartesian system to be connected in parallel. Finally an ellipsoidal coordinate system is used to orient the visitor with information from a point in space radially in all directions.Comprehension, Overlays and Architecture
To allow the collection, which is arranged in periods of painting, to be viewed relatively, parallel connections need to be made between them. This is done along the East elevation of the Villanueva building. The cylindrical coordinate system is used to generate the arcing roofs that form the backbone of this proposal. The overlay concept of structure and space‑time is expressed through the materials that are derived from our epoch, so that the historical structure can be read through the new form. The ellipsoidal coordinate system generates a form that will permit the visitor to move to all of the buildings within the complex i.e. many directions in space. It is here that the visitor will acquire information, make decisions about viewing art work, and comprehend its location in space relative to them. The ellipsoid is the spatial center of the museum complex.

© Standing Architecture